Wednesday 29 March 2017

Father-of-three upset while telling High Court jury allegations of rape and sexual abuse were 'impossible' and 'never happened'

The married father of three, became upset while telling a High Court jury the alleged assaults as described by his sister were
The married father of three, became upset while telling a High Court jury the alleged assaults as described by his sister were "impossible" and "never happened".

Tim Healy

A MAN has denied he raped and sexually abused one of his younger sisters in the family home beginning when she was aged eight and he was about 13 or 14.

The man, now 52 and a married father of three, became upset while telling a High Court jury the alleged assaults as described by his sister were "impossible" and "never happened".

His evidence and cross-examination concluded yesterday in the continuing civil action brought by the woman against him which is being heard before Mr Justice Colm MacEochaidh and a jury of seven women and five men.  

He said he left primary school early, about 1976,  and worked from the age of 12 in a range of jobs involving long hours and being away from home most days of the week.

In the four years between 1976 and 1980, when his sister alleged he had on several occasions sexually assaulted and raped her in a back bedroom of the family home in Co Dublin, he believed he was at home for a total period of about three months, he said.

He believed she made the allegations because, after her husband was charged in connection with a quantity of cannabis found in a shed at their home in 2002, he told her he did not want to be associated with her, he said.

He agreed she was upset and in tears when he said that, and that she was never charged in connection with the drugs.

He was concerned about the impact of the matter on his business, he said.

He took a call from his sister some months later after she was in a psychiatric hospital having taken an overdose.

He said he also agreed to go to her son's communion in 2003 as he was the child's godfather.

He was told by another sister in October 2004, during a party the previous night at the family home, the plaintiff had alleged he had sexually abused her as a child. 

Accompanied by two other sisters, he said he met the plaintiff sister the day he was told of the claims and asked her why she would make such allegations.

He said she kept saying he knew why and asked him for an apology.

He said, purely because he was concerned she might take another overdose, he told her he apologised if he had done anything to upset her but it was a poor apology. He also said she had asked him to buy her a house for €30,000.

Under cross-examination, he disagreed he was using the drugs matter as a premise for a suggestion she was making up the allegations.

He denied the plaintiff was told she would be disowned by the family if she persisted with her complaint.

She was disbelieved, not disowned, he said. He agreed his surviving siblings were all in court to support him. 

He denied his detailed recounting of all the jobs he had since the age of 12 was "a ruse" to tell the jury he wouldn't have had time to abuse his sister. 

He agreed it was unusual, "almost unique", to be away from home frequently between the ages of 12 to 16.

He said he gladly worked to support his family and was ashamed to be at home because it was not a house he was proud of.

The hearing continues.

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